If not for two fumbles from Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens could have really smoked the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday’s AFC Wild Card playoff game. I’m really really smoked them.
Rice fumbled on the Indianapolis 11 yard line in the first quarter. The Colts then put together a 13 play, 59 yard drive, but failed to score after Andrew Luck fumbled on the Baltimore 30. Then, Rice dropped another ball in the fourth quarter on the Baltimore 42. Indianapolis put together a 7 play, 49 yard drive, but Adam Vinatieri missed a 40 yard field goal attempt.
Rice had gone 21 consecutive games and 445 touches without putting the ball on the turf.
“I didn’t fumble all year. So I don’t really get that question,” Rice told the media according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “It’s just me being smart in the situation. You look at how many touches I had already. My fumble ratio is way down. Once again, I’m going to address it — I’m not a fumbler. You guys know that, and that’ll be the last time I address me fumbling. It won’t happen again.”
Fans in Baltimore certainly aren’t questioning Rice’s abilities. He’s the most dynamic playmaker the Ravens have on offense. However, Russell Street Report’s Derek Arnold points out the Rice seems to drop the ball during the biggest games of his career.
In eight career postseason appearances (he missed the Miami game, and had no touches in the Tennessee game in 2008), Rice has 122 carries and 30 receptions – 152 total touches. After his two fumbles Sunday against Indianapolis, he has now fumbled five times in playoff games.
That’s an average of a fumble every 30 touches.
In short, Rice is SEVEN TIMES more likely to fumble in the playoffs than he is in the regular season.
That’s certainly a trend worth worrying about.